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Raising an Effective Watchdog
Conditions of Effective Anti-Corruption Agencies
Gabriel Kuris
Deputy Director
CAPI
Riga, Latvia
January 23, 2015
My background
• Deputy Director of the Center for the
Advancement of Public Integrity (CAPI)
– New anti-corruption research center in New York
– Partnership between Columbia Law School and the
New York City Department of Investigation
- In 2012-13, researched and wrote 8 ACA
case studies for Princeton University
- Based on >160 interviews in Botswana, Croatia,
Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nigeria,
Slovenia, the UK, and the US.
- Online at: www.princeton.edu/successfulsocieties/
- Previous work: legal reforms in Cambodia,
Philippines, and the Solomon Islands.
Defining an effective ACA
Don’t expect ACA to eliminate corruption
• An ACA is just one critical part of an
anti-corruption system.
• Uprooting a culture of corruption is a multi-
generational, society-wide project.
We can’t judge whether an ACA causes
corruption to go up or down
• We can’t yet reliably measure corruption.
• Progress is slow and imperceptible.
• It’s hard to pinpoint the causes of progress.
Even in the “cleanest” countries, there are always
corruption cases to resolve and risks to address.
Hong Kong ICAC HQ.
Not built overnight.
ACA
Established
Strong
Capacity
Independent >Pushback!<
Watchdog
Subverted
Defanged
Disbanded
Politicized
Poor
Capacity
Weak
Dead
1. Nearly all ACAs fail.
 Internal scandals or mismanagement
 Government interference
 Politicization
Effective ACAs survive
2. Performance indicators:
 Strong case stats
Cases cleared
Arrests made
Convictions achieved
Government processes improved
Trainings and public education
 High-profile convictions
and sanctions
2. Effective ACAs excel
3. Indicators of trust
 High intake of
complaints
 High levels of polled
public confidence
 Professional image
 Good relations with
media, civil society,
international partners
Effective ACAs earn public trust
Studies agree on common factors of
effective ACAs
Factors Meagher
(2004)
UNDP
(2005)
OECD
(2013)
De Speville
(2010)
Recanatini
(2011)
Chêne
(2012)
Political will/
independence
     
Mandate     
Powers/
safeguards
   
Capacity      
Partner
institutions
     
Other factors
mentioned
Compact
geography,
stable economy
Prevention
& education
efforts
Special-
ization
Public
support,
endurance
Clear legal
framework
Integrity,
Special-
ization
Patrick Meagher, "Anti-corruption agencies: A review of experience," The IRIS Discussion Papers in Institutions and Development (2004).
UNDP, Democratic Governance Practice Team, “Institutional Arrangements to Combat Corruption: a Comparative Study” (2005).
OECD, Specialised Anti-Corruption Institutions: Review of Models, Second Edition (2013).
Bertrand de Speville, Overcoming Corruption: The Essentials. De Speville & Associates (2010).
Francesca Recanatini, “Anti-Corruption Authorities: An Effective Tool to Curb Corruption?” International Handbook on the Economics of
Corruption, Vol. 2, ed. by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Tina Søreide, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.
Marie Chêne, “Centralised versus decentralised anti-corruption institutions,:” U4 (2012).
Five conditions of effective ACAs
Political
Will &
Autonomy
• Continuous
• Clear
Mandate
• Investigation
• Prevention
• Education
• (Single or
multiple
agencies)
Powers &
Safeguards
•Sufficient
•Lawful
•Flexible
Capacity
• Strong
Leadership
• Internal
processes
• Ample
resources
Support
network
• Help from
other state
bodies
• External
partners
Good ACAs generate own political will
• Initial trigger usually external (international
pressure or domestic scandal)
– Support usually shallow and short-lived.
– Unrealistic early expectations lead to disappointment.
• To sustain political will:
– ACA must earn public support by showing professionalism,
impartiality, and high-profile results.
– Government must make clear no impunity, no going back.
Strategic leadership matters more than set-up
• ACAs evolve, adapt to survive.
• Luck, events, and political winds create
unanticipated challenges and opportunities.
• Good ACA leaders informally reshape their
own mandates and powers to find niche.
• Better to have a weak ACA with a strong
leader than a strong ACA with a weak leader.
Mandate: guard dog or watchdog?
• Guard dog
– enforcement powers
• Watchdog
– Only investigations
• Hybrid
– Some sanctions
• Multiple
complementary
agencies
Watchdogs bark
Guard dogs bite
Guard dogs vs. watchdogs
Guard Dog ACA Watchdog ACA
Role Investigate, advise, arrest
(possibly prosecute)
Investigate, advise, draw
attention
Public profile High Low
Evidentiary standard High Low
Disclosure rules Strict Weak
Investigative strengths Individual culpability Systemic problems
Need for safeguards High Low
Risks - Politicization or
pushback
- Competition with law
enforcement
- Irrelevance, impotence
- Dependence on reliable
justice system
Resource needs High Low
Examples Latvia KNAB, Croatia
USKOK, Indonesia KPK,
Hong Kong ICAC, NYC DOI
Slovenia CPC, U.S. Office of
Govt Ethics, Ghana CHRAJ
How much power?
• Powers must match mandate
• Investigative powers:
– Subpoena, witnesses testimony, audit, search and
seizure, financial investigations, arrest, undercover
operations, sting operations, telecom surveillance
• Preventive powers:
– Process audits, enforce recommendations,
embedded investigators, coordinate policy,
financial disclosures, political finance regulation
More power  more safeguards
• Judicial, legislative, and/or
executive supervision
• Codes & protocols for staff
(Mauritius ICAC)
• Codes & protocols for leadership (Indonesia KPK)
• Independent review boards (Hong Kong ICAC)
• Transparency (Indonesia KPK)
Safeguards shield those who follow the rules.
Importance of support network
• If justice-sector partners unreliable, may need
complementary specialized bodies (police, courts).
• If ACA can’t juggle investigation, prevention, and
education, other bodies can bridge gaps.
• Media, civil society, citizens, and international
partners can also provide crucial support.
• Two-way partnerships create coalitions of support
that sustain political will.
Applications to KNAB
• In international context, KNAB has historically
been a rare success story.
• Because ACAs evolve over time, formal structural
changes may not address internal issues.
• KNAB is a powerful guard dog. Could more
safeguards both regulate and protect it?
• What are KNAB’s weak spots, and can other
bodies step in to fill those gaps?
Gabriel Kuris
Deputy Director
gkuris@law.columbia.edu
http://www.law.columbia.edu/capi
Thank you!

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Raising an Effective Watchdog

  • 1. Raising an Effective Watchdog Conditions of Effective Anti-Corruption Agencies Gabriel Kuris Deputy Director CAPI Riga, Latvia January 23, 2015
  • 2. My background • Deputy Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity (CAPI) – New anti-corruption research center in New York – Partnership between Columbia Law School and the New York City Department of Investigation - In 2012-13, researched and wrote 8 ACA case studies for Princeton University - Based on >160 interviews in Botswana, Croatia, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Slovenia, the UK, and the US. - Online at: www.princeton.edu/successfulsocieties/ - Previous work: legal reforms in Cambodia, Philippines, and the Solomon Islands.
  • 3. Defining an effective ACA Don’t expect ACA to eliminate corruption • An ACA is just one critical part of an anti-corruption system. • Uprooting a culture of corruption is a multi- generational, society-wide project. We can’t judge whether an ACA causes corruption to go up or down • We can’t yet reliably measure corruption. • Progress is slow and imperceptible. • It’s hard to pinpoint the causes of progress. Even in the “cleanest” countries, there are always corruption cases to resolve and risks to address. Hong Kong ICAC HQ. Not built overnight.
  • 4. ACA Established Strong Capacity Independent >Pushback!< Watchdog Subverted Defanged Disbanded Politicized Poor Capacity Weak Dead 1. Nearly all ACAs fail.  Internal scandals or mismanagement  Government interference  Politicization Effective ACAs survive
  • 5. 2. Performance indicators:  Strong case stats Cases cleared Arrests made Convictions achieved Government processes improved Trainings and public education  High-profile convictions and sanctions 2. Effective ACAs excel
  • 6. 3. Indicators of trust  High intake of complaints  High levels of polled public confidence  Professional image  Good relations with media, civil society, international partners Effective ACAs earn public trust
  • 7. Studies agree on common factors of effective ACAs Factors Meagher (2004) UNDP (2005) OECD (2013) De Speville (2010) Recanatini (2011) Chêne (2012) Political will/ independence       Mandate      Powers/ safeguards     Capacity       Partner institutions       Other factors mentioned Compact geography, stable economy Prevention & education efforts Special- ization Public support, endurance Clear legal framework Integrity, Special- ization Patrick Meagher, "Anti-corruption agencies: A review of experience," The IRIS Discussion Papers in Institutions and Development (2004). UNDP, Democratic Governance Practice Team, “Institutional Arrangements to Combat Corruption: a Comparative Study” (2005). OECD, Specialised Anti-Corruption Institutions: Review of Models, Second Edition (2013). Bertrand de Speville, Overcoming Corruption: The Essentials. De Speville & Associates (2010). Francesca Recanatini, “Anti-Corruption Authorities: An Effective Tool to Curb Corruption?” International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Vol. 2, ed. by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Tina Søreide, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. Marie Chêne, “Centralised versus decentralised anti-corruption institutions,:” U4 (2012).
  • 8. Five conditions of effective ACAs Political Will & Autonomy • Continuous • Clear Mandate • Investigation • Prevention • Education • (Single or multiple agencies) Powers & Safeguards •Sufficient •Lawful •Flexible Capacity • Strong Leadership • Internal processes • Ample resources Support network • Help from other state bodies • External partners
  • 9. Good ACAs generate own political will • Initial trigger usually external (international pressure or domestic scandal) – Support usually shallow and short-lived. – Unrealistic early expectations lead to disappointment. • To sustain political will: – ACA must earn public support by showing professionalism, impartiality, and high-profile results. – Government must make clear no impunity, no going back.
  • 10. Strategic leadership matters more than set-up • ACAs evolve, adapt to survive. • Luck, events, and political winds create unanticipated challenges and opportunities. • Good ACA leaders informally reshape their own mandates and powers to find niche. • Better to have a weak ACA with a strong leader than a strong ACA with a weak leader.
  • 11. Mandate: guard dog or watchdog? • Guard dog – enforcement powers • Watchdog – Only investigations • Hybrid – Some sanctions • Multiple complementary agencies Watchdogs bark Guard dogs bite
  • 12. Guard dogs vs. watchdogs Guard Dog ACA Watchdog ACA Role Investigate, advise, arrest (possibly prosecute) Investigate, advise, draw attention Public profile High Low Evidentiary standard High Low Disclosure rules Strict Weak Investigative strengths Individual culpability Systemic problems Need for safeguards High Low Risks - Politicization or pushback - Competition with law enforcement - Irrelevance, impotence - Dependence on reliable justice system Resource needs High Low Examples Latvia KNAB, Croatia USKOK, Indonesia KPK, Hong Kong ICAC, NYC DOI Slovenia CPC, U.S. Office of Govt Ethics, Ghana CHRAJ
  • 13. How much power? • Powers must match mandate • Investigative powers: – Subpoena, witnesses testimony, audit, search and seizure, financial investigations, arrest, undercover operations, sting operations, telecom surveillance • Preventive powers: – Process audits, enforce recommendations, embedded investigators, coordinate policy, financial disclosures, political finance regulation
  • 14. More power  more safeguards • Judicial, legislative, and/or executive supervision • Codes & protocols for staff (Mauritius ICAC) • Codes & protocols for leadership (Indonesia KPK) • Independent review boards (Hong Kong ICAC) • Transparency (Indonesia KPK) Safeguards shield those who follow the rules.
  • 15. Importance of support network • If justice-sector partners unreliable, may need complementary specialized bodies (police, courts). • If ACA can’t juggle investigation, prevention, and education, other bodies can bridge gaps. • Media, civil society, citizens, and international partners can also provide crucial support. • Two-way partnerships create coalitions of support that sustain political will.
  • 16. Applications to KNAB • In international context, KNAB has historically been a rare success story. • Because ACAs evolve over time, formal structural changes may not address internal issues. • KNAB is a powerful guard dog. Could more safeguards both regulate and protect it? • What are KNAB’s weak spots, and can other bodies step in to fill those gaps?